5) Howard Webb
One of the most easily recognised referees in the Premier League, Howard Webb officiated in more than 290 premier league games. Since beginning his career back in ’03, Webb has taken charge of many crucial games over the years such as FA Cup final, League Cup final as well as in Europe. In 2010, the ex-policeman became the first referee to officiate in both the Champions League and World Cup final in the same year. He enjoyed an 11-year long career before taking up the role of technical director of PGMOL.
4) Phil Dowd
Phil Dowd began his refereeing career back in ’92 and was later promoted as an elite level referee in 2001. He served in the Premier League for nearly 15 years as he became one of the best in the business. He refereed in 307 Premier League games and stands fourth on the all-time list for referees. An injury meant that he had to miss the entirety of the 2015-16 season and later the PGMOL confirmed his retirement at the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
3) Martin Atkinson
One of the most experienced and revered figures in the premier league, Martin Atkinson now enters his 12th season in the Premier League, having officiated in 327 games in the process. The Bradford born referee exudes confidence and composure, an attribute which is in all fairness an absolute necessity, given the feisty nature of the Premier League. Along with having more than 300 games of experience in the English league, Atkinson has also officiated in World Cups and Europa league final.
2) Graham Poll
Graham Poll stands in second place on all-time appearances list for referees having officiated in a record 329 games before calling it quits. The Englishman became a part of the elite group right from Premier league’s inception back in 1993. He also officiated in two Fifa World Cups and was involved in one of the most controversial moments of all time, when he awarded a Croatian with three yellow cards before sending him off in a group stage game against Australia in world cup’06. He retired from all forms a year later.
1) Mike Dean
Mike Dean is now in his 17th season in the Premier League and has featured a remarkable 439 times in that time span. The 49-year old shows no signs of slowing down and is unarguably amongst the elite. The Fifa listed referee since ’03, Dean has taken charge of many exciting games over the years. He was forced to retire from the international list in 2013, due to the age bar set by FIFA. Being perhaps the best referee in the league at the moment, Dean has the daunting task of taking charge of a heated North London derby this weekend as Arsenal host a high-flying Tottenham Hostpurs. The game will be of prime importance to Mike Dean on a personal level as he was the subject of massive criticism from the Gunners faithful after Arsenal’s controversial defeat to Chelsea last season. More than 100,000 Gunners signed the petition to ban him from Arsenal games. Dean showed a massive five red cards last season; while has overseen two sending offs in six of his previous North London derbies.